What will we use when petroleum runs out?

This question has come up in one form or another a dozen times on Quora lately.

It is clear to me that we are not going to run out of energy, ever, but this specific question about petroleum this caused me to take a different look at the chart that I’ve used many times.

In the past, I’ve used this chart to discuss where our energy comes from, but to address the question about petroleum I am looking at it in the context of how much oil do we use. And for what.

In that context, I’m seeing what is causing the most CO2 and putting far more garbage, and GHGs in the air that generating electricity does.

I am nearly dumbfounded because we have spent so much time talking about electricity over the last decade that conserving petroleum has never been a part of the conversation. Therefore, I would like you to look at this chart from a new perspective, which is how we use energy.

As I took a glance at the user side of the chart, I suddenly realized that we use so much petroleum that the omissions from trucks, cars, railroads, and big industrial plants are more than electricity would be if it were 100% coal.

We use a lot of petroleum, for a lot of things, and virtually every one of them has more emissions than the electricity business does.

So back to the question, what will we do when we run out of petroleum, I’m glad to announce that were are not going to run out of petroleum anytime soon, but the options are waiting in the wings.

What is holding us up is are the biggest corporations in the world trying to figure out how they are going to keep making money as our need for their products continues to decline.

I’m planning to outline some of the strategies that will make that happen as I continue adding to the content for the book.

© William Ross Williams 2018

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